I do not remember the day I fell in love with you, Mom and Dad. I guess that is what it is like when you are a child. You enter this life with complete reliance and trust. Strangers hands that God placed you in. You have no say in where you landed, but you instead, just land, and by the grace of God I landed in two sets of hands of a mother and a father who gave me a privileged life. Not in the sense of money or things (although I know, having a child myself, children cost a great deal of money and I never went without), but more a privilege to be in a loving, healthy home. A true gift of present parents who not only sacrificed in their own ways to give me and my siblings a life that was kind, but were so involved in our lives, we never had to question if our parents would show up. In fact, I never knew such a worry in life, because they always showed up.
And, because of all of this, my mother and father are natural loves in my life. It was never a love I had to fight for or stress over. Instead, it was an easy, steady, and constant love that has shaped and carried me through my life.
I do remember the days I fell in love with you, my Nathan. And, yes, days, because I fell in love with you multiple times in my life. You broke my heart a few times and yet you never ever knew you were doing it because I loved you in my own mind. Since I was a little girl on the elementary school playground, chasing you with your bright blonde hair and circle-framed glasses, to the young middle schooler snagging a slow dance at the community center, I knew I loved you. It was an innocent crush kind of love, but as we grew up so did my love for you. I stood on the sidelines for years loving you until I finally was tapped into the game.
Our love is a deep, three-dimensional love. One that is exhilarating some days, yet exhausting the next. One that makes you thrive off of each other all while stumbling over every frustration. Our type of love is not an easy love. It is one we have to work on and fuel and feed each day. But, your love is something special. Some people think the whole “marriage is work” saying is a negative thing, but I tend to appreciate the saying which refers to valuing things more when you have to work hard for them.
The truth is I do value our kind of love more, because with every great or bad time we always choose our love and each other. That kind of thing is powerful.
I remember the day I fell in love with you, my daughter. It was instant. Love at first sight does indeed exist. You know this if you are a parent. The moment I laid my eyes on your little eyes my heart exploded. The feeling overwhelmed me, expanding my chest, filling my throat while taking my breath away, and filing my eye with tears. Good, happy, joyful tears.
Your love is familiar yet new. The moment they placed you in my arms, I felt I had loved you and knew you every day of my life before.
Your kind of love is what fairytales are made of. It is love like I have never known. It is a love that is so raw and real because a part of me is you.
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I am grateful to have fallen in love more than once in my life and these loves which I listed above are just a few. There are loves I have not even shared. Each of my siblings, my grandparents, a favorite uncle, a best friend from childhood, an adult best friend, all a love that is different yet signuficant. Love doesn’t have to be romance, champagne and strawberries, whisking one away. Love is much more than superficial symbols and perceptions. Love is a feeling of safe, warmth, and home.
Life tends to tell us we each have one love of our life but I don’t believe it. I believe that life treats us good with so many kinds of loves of our life, that enter our worlds in so many ways.
So to the loves of my life, Happy Valentine’s Day.